By W. D. Kay
So much observers could aspect to the 1969 Apollo moon touchdown because the unmarried maximum accomplishment of NASA, but popular scientists, engineers, and public officers have been wondering the aim of the U.S. area software, even on the peak of its nationwide attractiveness. Defining NASA appears on the turbulent historical past of the distance enterprise and the political controversies at the back of its investment. W. D. Kay examines the agency's actions and behaviour via bearing in mind not just the political weather, but additionally the alterations in how public officers conceptualize area coverage. He explores what policymakers anticipated once they created the supplier in 1958, why help for the Apollo software was once so robust within the Sixties merely to vanish away in any such fairly brief time period, what brought on NASA and the gap software to languish all through lots of the Nineteen Seventies purely to reemerge within the Nineteen Eighties, and, eventually, what function the business enterprise performs this present day.
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Additional info for Defining NASA: The Historical Debate Over the Agency's Mission
49 As it happened, the IGY proposal suited the administration’s needs perfectly: a highly visible, international event, conducted solely for the advancement of science. Accordingly, on July 29, 1955, the White House announced that President Eisenhower had approved plans for a series of “small unmanned earthcircling satellites” to be launched during the International Geophysical Year. 50 36 DEFINING NASA Using the IGY as a cover had one added—and, for Eisenhower officials, extremely important—benefit.
3 Despite their obvious differences, both of these paths to space have two important features in common. To begin with, they both convey a certain amount of innocence, if not naivete, particularly when compared with the events to come. Everyone involved—in both fact and fiction—always seem to be acting with the very best of intentions. Space travelers in stories are usually depicted either as scientists engaged in a search for new knowledge, or as ordinary people seeking adventure. 27 28 DEFINING NASA This perspective was carried over into the first science fiction films, such as the French Le Voyage dans la lune (1902, loosely based on the Verne novel), the American Just Imagine (1930), and the British Things to Come (1936, based on the novel by H.
18 In early 1943, after viewing a film of the test (see below), Adolf Hitler proclaimed that the V-2 would “turn the tide of the war,”19 and made its production a top priority. PREHISTORY: SPACE POLICY BEFORE SPUTNIK 31 As it happened, however, the V-2 rocket was not a particularly effective weapon. Although its guidance system was far more advanced than anything that had been developed to that point, a large percentage of missiles never reached their intended targets. They did cause a great deal of destruction in London and other European cities, but, unlike a conventional air strike, the damage was random.
Defining NASA: The Historical Debate Over the Agency's Mission by W. D. Kay